- A new Hump Day Reading List from Grant Cunningham. The three topics this week are: (1) a look at laws and regulations on possessing or using firearms on boats; (2) using drones for home security; and (3) Lyme disease.
- "Terrain Part Duex: WTF Are They – The KISS Way."--Lizard Farmer. An excerpt:
Taking the idea and what we had from the last Terrain Article we’re going to work it a bit. We established our point defenses (Homesteads), we established what we consider is the perimeter for an Area Defense, We identified possible problem areas and activities, and we planned for some future obstacles if necessary. Now we have to be able to get John and Sue to be able to orient and possibly move from one point on our AO map to another will as little confusion as possible.
Why the need to go? Maybe they need to send a couple of guys as a QRF to another homestead. Maybe there’s been some activity spotted and they need to know where it is. Maybe we got a little intel that told us a truckload of dirtbags are coming in tonight to try and raid and we do want to set an ambush up. The ability to send location information in a clear, concise manner without confusion is critical. Now as I’ve stated most folks just don’t or won’t have enough time for a full blown land nav and mapreading course. So what do we do? We simplify. You ever see those tourist maps of theme parks? They’re simple for a reason. Anyone can go to “Goofy Five” and find the pisser with those maps. You give a tourist a UTM location for the bathroom he’s going to need some help. So we “cheat a bit here” and dumb it down. Using the actual UTM 1k grids we develop a matrix of letters and numbers. Now we still have our grids along the map and can still nav with it the old fashioned way, but we also have simplified it so after about three minutes anyone can find a location on it. One Klick is still kind of open so we go a step further and break each grid into four sections (i.e. what’s on the bottom right). That gives us roughly a 250 meter resolution. Not the greatest but for our work we don’t need 10 meter resolution – not considering the size of our AO (well, unless you’ve squirreled some Mortars away, but I’m not that lucky).
- "Resistance to Violent Crime: What Does the Research Show?"--Active Response Training. Warning: much of what Ellifritz has found looking through the research contradicts what you generally hear from police or experts in the main stream media. First of all, he notes that most criminals rely on fear of harm rather than the actual use of violence to obtain compliance. Thus, the majority of violent offenders do not use weapons. If the criminal does have a firearm, there is a good chance it won't work: 41% of the actual guns seized from criminals are either broken or unloaded; an additional 15% are toy guns. He also notes statistics showing even when a criminal does use lethal force, it typically will be ineffective. But, to me, this was the most striking part of his article:
Resisting a crime by using a firearm generally reduces your chance of being hurt or killed, especially for women. A study by Gary Kleck found that the probability of serious injury in a criminal attack is two and a half times greater for women offering no resistance than women resisting with a firearm. Men are also safer if they resist with a firearm than if they do not resist at all, but the difference is smaller (1.5 times less likely to be injured).
Conversely, resisting while unarmed actually increases the odds of being killed or wounded. But even there, there are exceptions depending on the crime.
One meta-analysis, controlling for type of resistance, victim/offender relationships, location, and demographic characteristics, reports that women were least likely to be injured in assaults if they employed some non-physical (arguing, screaming, threatening to call police, etc.) method of resistance. Non-physically resisting victims suffered fewer injuries than women who either physically resisted or complied with their attackers (19). Additionally, specific to the crime of rape, amount of resistance is not correlated to amount of injury. There is also no correlation between presence of a weapon and amount of injury in rape cases (20).
Read the whole thing.
- "Saving Yourself in a Crowd"--YMAA. Although primarily directed toward police having to work crowd-control duties, it nevertheless has good information for the civilian, including the psychology of crowds and types of people that make up a mob or unruly crowd. Also: "If you are a civilian concerned about self-defense then your goal will be to escape to safety, remaining as anonymous and avoiding as much of the conflict as possible in the process. You will move away from the danger." Also, for the civilian:
Recognize that riots can materialize unexpectedly – Almost any incident involving people and emotion can trigger a violent disturbance, particularly when alcohol or other intoxicants are thrown into the mix. The situation may ignite suddenly with very little warning. Maintain a higher than normal level of situational awareness when navigating crowds, identifying and evading potential sources of trouble to the extent practicable. Diligent observation can protect you not only from violence but also from more mundane threats like pickpockets. Be constantly aware of cover, concealment, and potential escape routes as you move about in case you are forced to flee with little warning.
Monitor warning signs – Like a rock thrown into a pond, you may not spot the initial impact but you can readily detect the ripple effect that flows outward from the point of contact. Pay attention to the body language of people around you. They may be reacting to something important they noticed that you have missed. Any sudden change in the demeanor of the crowd, gathering of onlookers, agitators urging a confrontation, or people rapidly moving into your space may be warning signs of impending violence. Look and listen to what is going on around you; shouting, screaming, or other loud commotions also constitute danger signals.
Watch everyone – Be especially alert for the presence of weapons. If a weapon is fired the situation immediately escalates into a very serious tactical affair. You may be assaulted directly, caught in the cross-fire as law enforcement officers move to restore order, or trampled by terrified bystanders who are trying to get out of the way. Everyone can become a threat, even the good guys. In addition to monitoring the crowd, pay attention to unattended vehicles parked where they shouldn't be, packages left in high traffic areas, abandoned luggage, or anything else that appears suspicious. The sooner you spot potential dangers the better your chances of reacting appropriately.
Evaluate your options before you act – Sometimes it is best to flee right away, but occasionally it may be more sensible to hunker down behind something and defend in place. Take a moment to evaluate your options and make a reasoned choice before embarking on any course of action. If you are inside a building look for alternate exits, particularly in a panicked crowd scenario where the main exit will almost certainly be blocked. In night clubs, for example, windows are often blacked-out so they are easy to miss if you are not actively looking for them.
Don't enter an agitated crowd if other alternatives exist – There is a huge difference between a highly-spirited crowd of shoppers, a restless throng teetering on the edge of violence, and a riotous mob, one that most anyone actively paying attention can sense. As things begin to turn ugly, don't hang around to watch no matter how fascinating it might be. Leave as quickly and quietly as possible. Plan your exit route to minimize contact with others, even if it means taking the “long way” around the scene. Slip through gaps between others rather than shoving people out of your way to the extent practicable.
Don't fight unless you have no alternative – If you are forced to fight you may attract undue attention and quickly find yourself facing multiple opponents who want to beat you down or law enforcement officers who don't realize that you are the good guy. If you are knocked to the ground or stumble and fall you may very well be trampled. If you have to fight you will lose valuable time and there is no guarantee that you will survive the encounter, so rather than engaging opponents directly, attempt to deflect or redirect anyone who tries to slow your escape using open-hand techniques.
- "Wildfires don't care about the pandemic. Here's how to prepare for an evacuation amid COVID-19"--AccuWeather.
While the wildfire season, particularly in the southwestern corner of the United States, doesn't have a defined start and end date, large blazes more typically ignite in the summer months. That time frame has given shelter organizers, such as the Red Cross, plenty of time to prepare for the unique summer.
"When there was rumblings in the news about COVID-19, the Red Cross really put its focus on 'Well, we know that during the summer months whether it's a hurricane or a wildfire that these disasters will be coming, so things could look different for us so how do we get prepared?' And over the last several months, that's exactly what we've been doing," Nicole Maul, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, told AccuWeather.
New shelter locations, such as dorms and hotels, are also being considered for shelters this year as a way to address social distancing concerns. When fires threaten densely populated areas, such as in Southern California, hundreds of families are often forced to evacuate. According to Maul, opening additional shelters and finding alternate sheltering options has been one of the most important priorities for the Red Cross this season.
- "Your Rifle Needs a Bayonet"--The New Rifleman. I've noted many times that the bayonet is an underappreciated weapon. The author here sets out an argument why a rifle with a bayonet mounted makes sense if defending against a mob or looters. He also discusses a product designed to allow you to correctly mount a bayonet on a 16-inch AR with the carbine length system (assuming that you are starting out with a bayonet lug) and other methods for attaching a bayonet to a rifle not otherwise designed for a bayonet. Finally:
It is true that I have no experience bayoneting anything, and have never received official government bayonet training. But my dad fought in Korea and told a story or two. His advice was to turn the rifle sideways so that the blade goes between the ribs, parallel with them, instead of thrusting straight out with the blade edge perpendicular to the ribs, which usually resulted in a stuck blade. But that’s all the advice I can pass along.
- "Tips on Choosing Ammunition for Your Concealed-Carry Revolver"--Richard Mann at Shooting Illustrated. Mann starts out with noting some observations of the results of ballistic gel testing of various .32 revolver ammunition, but then extrapolates from this experience to discuss ammunition performance in general.
This brings me to the main point I’d like to make, and that’s how I think you ought to be comparing terminal performance. With defensive-handgun ammunition, bullet weight alone means nothing; its contribution is ultimately measured in penetration. In most cases, the same goes for velocity, as long as the bullet expands. Kinetic energy doesn’t matter much either. The .327 Fed. Mag. 100-grain JSP load generates more energy than both .38 Spl. loads shown for comparison. However, the crush cavities created by both .38 Spl. loads were twice as large.
The crush cavity created by common defensive-handgun bullets may in fact be the best way to compare wounding potential. It’s relatively easy to calculate, just plug the values into this formula: (R^2πP), where, R is the radius of expanded bullet, π is, of course, 3.14, and P is penetration depth. For example, with a bullet expanding to .50 inch and penetrating to 14 inches, the formula would look like: (.25^2π14) = 2.74. The key is to base any comparisons on test data obtained out of the gun you will be carrying as opposed to advertisements and data obtained with other handguns, especially those with longer barrels.
- "MAKE THE RIGHT CALL: WHAT A COP SEES WHEN RESPONDING TO A HOME INVASION"--USCCA. A reminder that a police officer responding to a home invasion call may not be able to easily determine whether the person holding the gun is the home owner or the criminal. The author writes:
... What if the man with the gun had it at low ready and not pointed directly at the other man? How about if the person holding the gun was giving loud, authoritative commands to the other person in the room to not move and to keep his hands in view? The officer would have more indicators of who was the homeowner and who was the intruder. You have to help the police make the right decision, and to help them, you will have to overcome certain instincts. That means you must train and mentally prepare.
- Anyone have this on their 2020 Bingo? "Massive Sahara desert dust plume drifting toward the United States"--CBS News. "While summer dust plumes are a common occurrence, the one sailing through the Caribbean right now is generating quite the buzz. That's because it appears to be one of the most extreme in recent memory and it's heading for the southeastern states." In addition, while the dust plumes generally diffuse as they travel across the Atlantic, this one is not.
- More: "Caribbean chokes on monster Saharan dust cloud headed toward the U.S."--Reuters. "A massive plume of Saharan dust has shrouded swathes of the Caribbean, turning blue skies into a milky-brown haze and sparking health warnings across the region as air quality fell to unhealthy levels."
- "Piracy Surges in Gulf of Mexico, Prompting U.S. Warning"--New York Times. From the article:
There have been scores of attacks, thefts and other criminal acts in the area in the last few years, according to the Mexican Navy Ministry. Other estimates suggest the number may be far greater.
The attacks — mainly on vessels and offshore platforms associated with the Mexican oil industry — have added another hefty burden to Mexico’s overstretched security forces and threatened to chill foreign investment in Mexico’s oil sector.
On Wednesday, the American government issued a special security alert about the danger of pirates in Mexican waters of the Gulf, particularly in a vast bight called the Bay of Campeche, where offshore oil wells are concentrated.
“Armed criminal groups have been known to target and rob commercial vessels, oil platforms and offshore supply vehicles,” the alert said.
Pirates have not only robbed crew members of their money, phones, computers and other valuables but have stripped vessels and oil platforms of big-ticket items to be sold in the region’s thriving black markets, including sophisticated communication and navigation equipment, fuel, motors, oxygen tanks, construction material and, in several cases, the lights from helicopter landing pads.
- "Expert warns China's Three Gorges Dam in danger of collapse"--Taiwan News. Extensive flooding due to high rainfalls, combined with poor construction of the dam, is putting it at risk of collapsing according to Chinese hydrologist Wang Weiluo.
- Another fake racism incident. ESPN reports:
The FBI has determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega Superspeedway since as early as October, NASCAR said Tuesday.
"The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall," NASCAR said in its statement. "This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.
But, as we know, SJWs always double down when caught in a falsehood: "Bubba Wallace defiant, calls rope 'straight-up noose' after FBI says no crime occurred," according to Fox News. According to the article, Wallace admitted that he hadn’t seen the noose himself but had seen photos of it. "It wasn’t directed at me,” Wallace added, “but it was a noose.”
- "Don’t Blame Police Racism for America’s Violence Epidemic"--Quillette. This July 2019 article relates:
- "Upcoming movie 'Cracka' imagines a world in which whites are enslaved and black people rule over America"--Daily Mail. According to the article, the film's tagline includes "you raped our daughters, what if we raped yours?" According to the 2016 crime statistics, blacks committed 29.1% of the rapes, and 24.7% of the sex crimes (not including rape or prostitution), even though they comprised only 13.31% of the population.
Putting statistics aside, is it true that police killings of African Americans are driven by racial bias—by white police officers with a Jim-Crow mindset who view blacks as less than human? A new study by a group of American researchers offers some insight, and suggests that the conventional narrative is misleading.
Lead researcher David Johnson, psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, led a team that analyzed police shootings in America by building a database of 917 fatal officer-involved shootings (FOIS) from over 650 different police departments in 2015. They looked at both the race of the police officers doing the shooting and the races of the individuals killed. If America had an epidemic of white-on-black police shootings, you would expect that white police officers would be more likely to shoot African Americans. But that isn’t what they found.
Instead, they found that when the data is sorted according to the race of the involved officers, “as the percentage of black officers who shot in a FOIS increased, a person fatally shot was more likely to be black…than white. As the percentage of Hispanic officers who shot in a FOIS increased, a person fatally shot was more likely to be Hispanic…than white.” It is actually more likely for black and Hispanic citizens to be killed by black and Hispanic police officers than by white officers.
This doesn’t mean that the black and Hispanic officers are more biased against fellow black and Hispanic residents. Instead, the researchers postulate that this may be due to “simple overlap between officer and county demographics.” Police departments in areas with greater numbers of ethnic minorities tend to have a more diverse police force. Indeed, the paper notes that “when county variables were included, the relationship between office and civilian race was attenuated or eliminated….This suggests that the association between officer race and black and Hispanic disparities in FOIS largely occur because officers and civilians are drawn from the same population.”
In an interview, Johnson stressed that we shouldn’t conclude that just because racial diversity in a police force does not reduce lethal shootings doesn’t mean it has no value. “Another possibility is we might find that officer race matters more for other kinds of force, so baton use, taser use, those sorts of things,” he said. “Our data is just about shootings that resulted in fatality….What I want to be clear on, is we don’t find evidence for racial disparities, at least as tied to officer race. It’s not the case that white officers seem to be primarily responsible for these shootings. But we’re not at all trying to argue that the police are, say, free of racial bias. The data we have just don’t answer that kind of question.”
This isn’t the only research that shows that white officers aren’t more likely to shoot black citizens. Last year, a study from Rutgers University found that “white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers,” in the words of lead researcher Charles Menifield.
But what of the disproportionate number of black citizens killed by police every year? As a Vox writer has noted, in 2012, 31 percent of all people killed by police were African American, while only about 13 percent of the total American population is black. Isn’t that a sign of racial bias?
The new study disputes the use of this metric as a means to prove bias. “Using population as a benchmark makes the strong assumption that white and black civilians have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS,” it writes. “If there are racial differences in exposure to these situations, calculations of racial disparity based on population benchmarks will be misleading.”
The researchers found that the factor that most predicted the race of a citizen fatally shot was homicide rates for those groups in particular counties. For instance, in counties where whites committed a higher percentage of homicides, victims of police shootings are 3.5 times more likely to be white; in counties where blacks commit more homicides, victims are 3.7 times more likely to be black.
This suggests that violent crime rates correlate to—and perhaps may be used to predict—fatal interactions between police and citizens. The Washington Post’s police shootings database, which serves to document every fatal police shooting in the country, provides more evidence in this regard. Of the 505 fatal police shootings cataloged in 2019 as of this writing, only 20 involved a victim who was unarmed (although 12 of the victims carried toy weapons). If these victims were being targeted for reasons unrelated to their possible identity as criminal suspects, one would not expect that 96 percent would be armed.
- Related: "Crime and Racial Profiling by U.S. Police: Is There an Empirical Basis?"--The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. This 1999 paper notes that blacks are as much more criminally violent than Whites as men are more criminally violent than women. Also, 56% of violent crimes committed by blacks have White victims.
- "Hundreds ‘ambush’ Tampa police responding to report of shots fired, 2 officers injured, chief says"--Fox News.
Two Tampa police officers were injured early Saturday after a crowd of hundreds surrounded a group of officers in an "ambush," the Tampa police chief said.
Officers were responding to a report of shots fired and a possible gunshot victim at an intersection near the Ybor City neighborhood around 1 a.m., Chief Brian Duggan told reporters Monday. A crowd of hundreds was at the scene when police arrived.
As offices searched for a possible victim, Duggan said the hundreds of people blocked all four ends of the intersection and became aggressive. The crowd surrounded officers, threw bottles and glass, and jumped on a police vehicle. Officers could not locate a victim.
"It's an ambush. I have no other way to describe it,” Duggan said. “When there are that many people out there and clearly no one had been shot. It was just a set up to get the cops there."
- Related: "Boston Police: Officers Were ‘Surrounded And Assaulted By Hostile Crowd’ While Making Arrest"--CBS Boston.
- "How the Drug War Broke Policing"--Cato Institute. An excerpt:
Drug “crimes” are qualitatively different from other types of crimes, i.e. real crimes. Real crimes have victims, and victims call the police to investigate and hopefully catch the perpetrator. The victim of a robbery calls the police, invites the police into his house, asks them to take evidence, and gives them all the information he has.
When crimes have no real victims, however, policing fundamentally changes. With drug use, the purported victim and the criminal are the same person, guilty of the grave crime of preferring a different intoxicant than the one available at the local bar. Victims no longer participate in catching the criminals, since they are the same person. Police must therefore adopt strategies to catch unwilling “victims” and to interdict the drugs at their source.
Catching unwilling victims is difficult. Anyone could be a criminal/victim, after all, hiding illicit drugs on their body, car, or property. What were once casual interactions with citizens become riddled with suspicion. Is this driver hiding something? Perhaps if I search that random person on the street, I’ll find drugs, after all, he looks like a druggie.
Not to mention that finding drugs on someone can become a pretense for abusive behavior. Perhaps a cop wants to bust up some unruly teenagers to “teach them a lesson” about loitering and disobeying his authority? Is that marijuana he smells? Who could possibly question him on that?
If drug users are out in the street, it’s relatively easy. But what if they’re in their homes, carrying out their crimes in private? Surveillance is the first priority. Helicopters can be flown over the house or, now, more likely drones. Heat‐sensitive cameras can test for “grow rooms,” and there are always informants who are more than willing to fess up for leniency or a small cash payment. There’s a drug dealer in there, they tell the cops, and now police can go after the source.
But the criminals/victims still won’t invite the police into the house, so it is time to suit up and go in with force. Thankfully for the police, the American military has been transferring surplus gear to local police departments for a few decades, primarily to fight the drug war. With all this gear laying around, why not use it?
A modern police officer can don the accoutrements of a soldier fighting in Fallujah and arrive at the “scene of the crime” in an armored personnel carrier designed for military use. They can also request permission from a magistrate judge (nearly always given) to carry out a “no‐knock” raid—such as the raid that killed a young black woman named Breonna Taylor—and go in with full force. The door is violently busted open, flash bang grenades are thrown in, and armed men come rushing in throwing the occupants to the ground threatening to shoot them, if not actually pulling the trigger.
What else could they do? After all, drugs were in there.
- "Appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against Michael Flynn"--Axios. Found that the judge presiding over the case had clearly acted outside the requirements of the law in questioning the DoJ's decision to dismiss, appointing a lawyer to argue against the DoJ's motion, and allowing amicus curiae briefing.
- Related: "Explosive New FBI Notes Confirm Obama Directed Anti-Flynn Operation"--The Federalist. "The handwritten notes, which were first disclosed in a federal court filing made by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, show President Obama himself personally directed former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to investigate Flynn for having routine phone calls with a Russian counterpart. He also suggests they withhold information from President Trump and his key national security figures."
- More of the Deep State self-identify: "Exclusive: Dozens of Republican former U.S. national security officials to back Biden"--Reuters. "It includes at least two dozen officials who served under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, with dozens more in talks to join, the sources added." Also:
The initiative is being led by John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, according to the people involved, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Both held senior posts under George W. Bush. Bellinger served as legal adviser to the National Security Council and State Department. Wainstein served as Bush’s homeland security adviser and as chief of staff to former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Another member of the group, the sources said, is Robert Blackwill, who served as a foreign policy adviser under both Bushes and ambassador to India under George W. Bush. The group includes some independents and officials from outside the national security arena, the sources said.
- "How to fight the Woke and win"--Vox Popoli. Tips include becoming more self-sufficient, recognizing the Woke will turn on you in a heartbeat, never apologize and never quit or resign from a job (make them fire you) and be willing to engage in lawfare.
- "An American Cultural Revolution?" by Eric Kaufmann at Law & Liberty.
The left is in the final stages of executing a top-down cultural revolution in America, argues Mike Gonzalez in this important book. The Plot to Change America lifts the lid on a half-century old New Left march through the country’s elite institutions. Their goal: to deconstruct the national story, replacing it with a neo-Marxist account of hierarchy and group conflict. The new national epic is about confessing the sins of the past to enter a millennium of equity and diversity. The fallen white oppressor redeems himself by agreeing to live in a state of permanent repentance. In place of allegiance to the Constitution, the Founding, liberal principles of equal treatment and an optimistic view of American history comes the usual hierarchy of racial and sexual victim groups at the top and white male oppressor at the bottom. Equal treatment even if resulting in somewhat unequal outcomes is to be replaced with unequal treatment to engineer equal outcomes. Minorities are dissuaded from assimilating—encouraged to nurture separateness, marinate in historic grievances, and develop what Jonathan Haidt terms a “common enemy” form of identity, coalescing around manufactured categories such as “Asian-American” or “People of Color.”
- "The GOP Is Not For Me"--Identity Dixie. Reagan and other conservatives spent considerable time and effort in the 1970s and 80s convincing Southern Democrats to switch to voting for Republicans. The Republican party has squandered all of that. From the article:
It is time to face a tough fact: the South has no political home in the United States of America. The Democratic Party long since abandoned the South. Its strategy is clearly aligned with (largely urban) minority constituents, sexual degenerates from across the LGBT+ spectrum, and Marxist indoctrinated cat moms. However, the Republican Party was supposed to be the conservative option. It was the retooling of a Dixiecrat bloc that shared some traditionalist ideological camaraderie with Yankee elites. That was a happy fantasy that has long since died.
Today, as monuments are torn down, our heritage is vilified, and politicians race to out-virtue signal each other on the backs of our deceased kin, the Republican Party – from Trump down – has proven that the South is on her own. It is time to walk away from that party. It is time to show those within the party that our loyalty to them comes with a price: loyalty to us.
- "HOW THE DEMOCRATS COLLUDE TO ENABLE VOTER FRAUD"--Power Line.
One of the most pernicious phenomena of modern times is the collusive lawsuit. This is how it works: a left-wing organization sues a government agency that is also controlled by the left. The lawsuit alleges that the agency is obliged to do something that the agency would like to do, but the Democrats can’t get it passed. Then the parties–supposedly adverse, but actually in collusion–“settle” the case by having the agency agree to do what it wanted to do all along. If all goes well, a court enters an order enforcing the settlement. So the net effect is that a policy that the Democrats couldn’t get passed is now a court-ordered mandate. This happens often.
It is common with environmental lawsuits.
- Anti-discrimination laws are the gift that keeps on giving: "Judge Rules American Companies Can Be Sued for Preferring U.S. Workers"--CNS News.
- "U.S. Strengthens Its Rare Earth Supply Chain With New Processing Plant"--OilPrice.com.
USA Rare Earth, the funding and development partner of the Round Top heavy rare earth project and Texas Mineral Resources announced Thursday that its rare earths pilot plant processing facility in Wheat Ridge, Colorado has received the required permits and officially opened.
Once fully commissioned, the plant will be focused on group separation of rare earths into heavy (dysprosium, terbium), middle, and light (neodymium, praseodymium) rare earths (REE’s) and will be the first facility to separate the full range of rare earth elements in the US since 1999.
- Related: "The treasure trove hidden in discarded computers"--BBC. "Four years ago at the University of Birmingham, Prof Walton and his mentor, Prof Rex Harris, discovered that running hydrogen gas through old hard-disk drives turns the [neodymium] magnets into powder which can be harvested, re-packed and coated, to become new magnets."
- "Fall of the Roman Republic and rise of the Empire may have been triggered by a massive volcanic eruption in Alaska in 43 BC that set off a global climate shock leading to famine and unrest"--Daily Mail. The hypothesis is that volcanic sulfur and ash from Mount Okmok in Alaska caused a sudden and substantial cooling causing crop failures, famine, disease, and unrest in the Mediterranean Region and facilitated Julies Caesar capturing control of the Republic.
- "India redraws its rules to engage China on border"--Live Mint. "'The commanders at LAC (line of actual control) can now give troops complete freedom of action to handle situations at the tactical level,' the person said, on condition of anonymity."
- Related: "SHOCK CLAIM: Chinese Troops in 'Panic Mode' After Border Clash with India"--PJ Media. "Inputs accessed by The Sunday Guardian post the debriefing of these 10 men [captured Chinese troops], revealed that the outnumbered and 'unarmed' (as the rules required them to be) Indian troops, rather than retreating in view of the huge number of Chinese soldiers, grabbed the improvised clubs and rods that the Chinese were using to batter Indian soldiers, and used the same to kill 'at least' 20 Chinese soldiers and officers at patrol point 14."
- Related: Video: "PRC's army is full of wimps, sissies and little emperors"--TFI Global (6 min.). According to the video, the statement in the title came from a Chinese assessment of its own troops.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice"--Berkeley News.
In 2005, University of California, Berkeley, researchers made the surprising discovery that making conjoined twins out of young and old mice — such that they share blood and organs — can rejuvenate tissues and reverse the signs of aging in the old mice. The finding sparked a flurry of research into whether a youngster’s blood might contain special proteins or molecules that could serve as a “fountain of youth” for mice and humans alike.
But a new study by the same team shows that similar age-reversing effects can be achieved by simply diluting the blood plasma of old mice — no young blood needed.
In the study, the team found that replacing half of the blood plasma of old mice with a mixture of saline and albumin — where the albumin simply replaces protein that was lost when the original blood plasma was removed — has the same or stronger rejuvenation effects on the brain, liver and muscle than pairing with young mice or young blood exchange. Performing the same procedure on young mice had no detrimental effects on their health.
This discovery shifts the dominant model of rejuvenation away from young blood and toward the benefits of removing age-elevated, and potentially harmful, factors in old blood.